The number of identity theft cases jumped more than 20% in 2008, but the amount the crooks got per theft dropped by more than 30%, a result of savvier consumers and businesses acting more swiftly when identity is taken. New study just out from Javelin Strategy & Research.The 9.9 million cases of identity theft reported last year represented a 22% increase, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, which compiles annual ID theft figures.
The increases in cases wasn't matched by an increase in take, which rose only 7%, to $48 billion in the U.S.
Reason for the drop in ID thieves' haul? Increased consumer awareness of the problem, faster consumer and business response time when IDS theft is detected, quicker resolution of ID fraud incidents.
The result? Average take from an ID theft fell 31% last year, to $496 per stolen ID.
More good, or at least interesting news: According to Javelin, most ID theft remains opportunistic in origin: information from, for example, stolen wallets, is a more common starting point for ID theft than online acquisition of information.